Going to college used to be the way to get ahead of the crowd. A college degree meant you’d dedicated yourself to being better prepared for the world and for a career. Those days are over. You may still be ahead of many people who don’t go to college, but the pool of college grads is only growing. College students face a lot of challenges.
College as a Second High School
Unfortunately, relying on a high school education is not possible in the US, due to underfunded schools, over-sized classes, and over-loaded educators. Many students arrive at college without knowing how to write a proper essay, which used to be a basic skill required for entry into college. That’s put pressure on colleges to start off by educating their students with a second set of high school basics. This has slowed down the advancement of students and devalued the average college degree.
Getting Through Academic Challenges
A lot of students find that they aren’t as good at the academic side of things as they’d hoped, especially in the subjects they thought they would want to study. If it turns out your desired major is just too challenging, dreams can become dashed very quickly. Students don’t know what to expect, and then they get disappointed in themselves. This has lead to a lot of kids doing poorly and dropping out, overworking themselves, and even harming themselves because they don’t see the bigger picture. There is always another way to get through college, but it can be hard to see that without the right guidance.
Most college students have to work through their education and this can add pressure to an already overwhelming schedule of classes, studying, and the hopes of having a social life, too. Balancing all these things is overwhelming, but when financial pressures are added to the mix, the stress can be damaging. It’s not just paying for college that is challenging, but also being able to afford the books, housing, and expenses while taking classes. A lot of people are forced to stop their studies because they cannot make enough money at their part time job.
So Many Distractions
While it may be normal for kids to take notes on a computer and to own a cell phone, these things can mean huge distractions during classes. Instead of focusing completely on what’s going on in class, many students get away with playing games on their phones or computers, and even chatting with friends and surfing social media sites. Growing up with these options, kids are not as good at the focus and pace required to do well in lecture classes that can be huge and anonymous.
A Balanced Education
Even the most dedicated and focused students can be frustrated by general education courses. If you want to be a doctor, why take history? It turns out that college is a place you’re going to learn all kinds of things, not just the specific skills required to do a job. Having a balanced education is critical to becoming a contributing and interesting member of society, something that employers value highly.